Whilst I have more or less confirmed B's kindergarten (that's a post for another day), I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn what LA Madison has to offer. And since I'm not sending B to school until 2016, this could be an option for him before kindergarten starts.
Some background information about LA Madison:
Their vision is "to be the leader and innovator in early childhood education" by providing happy and safe environment where children can achieve their fullest potential before embarking on their compulsory education.
They have 4 primary programmes for children age 18 months to 6 years old:
Happy Feet - 18 months to 3 years old
- Focuses on development of functional independency and important sensorial and cognitive skills
Explorer - 3 to 4 years old
- Focuses on the learning of phonics and language through activities such as dramatisation and role playing, concept of math and planning and implementation of simple scientific investigations
Thinker - 4 to 5 years old
- Children will be exposed to different learning possibilities to challenge their logical and critical thinking skill and understanding of math and science concepts
Enlighter - 5 to 6 years old
- Focus on the development of greater independence and self-control of the children
As you may know, B has never been exposed to a school environment and I always had the intention to let him experience it sooner rather than later so that it will be less traumatic for him when the time comes for him to go to school. Suffice to say, it was an eye opener for me as well to see how B would react in such an environment. Of course, in the beginning, he clung on tightly to me, but when he saw the play area, he simply couldn't resist.
There's water and there's sand, of course he couldn't resist. Somehow, I felt a strange tinge seeing him play amongst other kids.
The kids were given time to warm up a little with the sand and water play in this little playroom next to the classroom. It worked but when the time came to proceed to class, we had to pry B off, and even when class started, he kept wanting to escape the room and get back to the play area.
So the parents were given a preview of how classes would be conducted. Typically, lessons are conducted in Mandarin or English during the entire 2 hour session per day and rotated daily. But since this was a preview for the parents, we got to experience both during the 2 hours we were there.
It started off with Mandarin class, exploring the underwater world and various types of sea creatures, a short tea break where sandwiches were served and then back to class with English lessons. There was quite a bit of singing and dancing which the older kids participated in, B, didn't really know what was going on and was only really interested in the bubble machine.
I like how the teachers were flexible with B. When they were supposed to paste some pictures on a designated wall with instructions, B was oblivious and in his own world, the Chinese teacher suggested he paste them on the wall nearer to him instead, and this worked out perfectly for him. He liked the activity and kept going forward to get more fish to paste on the wall.
The last picture above is of the class making a crab. B was only interested in those plastic eyes and the teachers were also flexible to let him play with it and were even playing along with him. So, that I was rather impressed despite my initial thoughts of them being disorganised. Quite understandably though, since that day was their very first class and they were probably relying on the previewers to provide them with some feedback.
If you are interested in finding out more about LA Madison, they are having an open house on 20th December, you should check it out:
LA Madison Open House
Date: 20 December 2014, Saturday
Time: 930am to 12pm
Venue: 1 Marine Parade Central, #04-07 Parkway Centre (same building as MacDonalds)
You can RSVP for the programme talks and preview by calling 82004052 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please like their Facebook page and share with your friends and other parents who might be interested.
And.... LA Madison is kind enough to offer my readers a special package if you sign up at their open house!
All you need to do is quote my blog when you register your child during the Open House and get extra classes for the first month. Sign up for their daily programme (5 days/week) and get additional 4 Saturdays of free classes, or sign up for their 3 day/week programme and get additional 2 Saturdays of classes for free.
My suggestion is go and have a look and feel at the centre and hear what they have to offer - it might just be something you have been looking for or perhaps give you an idea of what to expect. Have fun at the Open House!